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Dead Grandma Totally Messes With Me

Before I even had a hint of the infertility problems which would plague me, before any of my babies were ultimately born; my grandmother envisioned me with a girl. She was prone to ‘seeing’ things, mostly dead people, but she also had an extremely refined intuition or esp. She’d offhandedly say things, like, “Oh, so and so just died.” While we were busy processing that information, the call would come in. So and so was dead.

So it was no surprise to me, and I took it as almost a certainty, when 11 years ago, she called and told me I was pregnant. I had been quietly trying for almost two years by the time of her call. I was seeing doctors, and was on an emotional roller coaster month after depressing month.

“Why haven’t you told me you’re pregnant?” she asked, her strong, smoky tone full of reproach.

“Uh, because I don’t know that I’m pregnant. Wait,” I held my breath like I was speaking with a doctor holding test results, “Am I pregnant?”

“If this old witch still has it, you are.”

Five days later, full shock and glee, I called her back. “I’m pregnant.”

I could hear her blow her cigarette smoke into the phone before she offhandedly replied, “It’ll be a girl.”

I had a boy.

She scratched her red head (what other color would a witch have?) and said, “I guess it’ll be the next one.” Nearly three years later, she was wrong again. Almost 3 years after that, when I had my third and last child, she was so convinced it was a girl, she snapped at me.  “What do you mean, it’s a boy!? Well, I’m sorry!”

I certainly didn’t care, but my grandma was not one to be wrong, ever. She didn’t take it well, but decided to love my boys regardless. They each were a shining, joyful light in her life.

By her 90th birthday celebration, she still remained convinced that I would have a girl. Somewhat dramatically (she knew no other way) she said, I would be naming the child after her, implying her death was near.

In the Jewish religion, a name is passed down after a loved one passes. My grandma had been housebound for the last decade with a variety of issues, but none of them life-threatening. Still, as she put it, over and over again, her suitcases were packed and she was ready to kiss her old ass goodbye. We listened to this talk for years, but recently, it seemed she might actually be getting closer to taking that trip.

I was over 40 by then. Given my age, and the fact that I had never become pregnant without assistance, I told her that, she would have to rely on another grandkid for that girl. Besides, I insisted, she was an ox with special powers, she wasn’t going anywhere.

Her response was a dirty look, but she conceded that maybe, in this one instance, her radar had been off. I don’t think she really believed it. She just no longer had the energy to argue. When I think about it now, I love that she remained truly convinced that she was right; such beautiful, dogged stubbornness.

Six months later, she died. I held on to her promises to haunt me and she didn’t disappoint; showing up in many ways, most notably as a fly on my wall, something she had always wished to be in her last homebound years.

I miss speaking with her, knowing I could just pick up the phone and hear her raspy voice. I know she hears me out there, but I’d be much happier to have her hear me over here. I try not to think about it.

But this week, I was late. Yes, that kind of late. A solid, bloated, hormonal and crampy, full week late. I knew I couldn’t be. I counted days and considered. It was not possible. Still, her voice was loud and bossy in my head; you will have a girl. Against all reason and sanity, I went and purchased a pregnancy test, cursing her under my breath.

I’ll spare you the suspense. I wasn’t pregnant, and two hours later, my friend, ‘Dot’ arrived. I laughed at myself and breathed a deep sigh of relief.

As the year anniversary of her passing draws near, I love that she can still mess with me. And since I don’t plan on having another child, I’m definitely going to be just a bit more careful about ‘things’ in the future. My grandmother doesn’t like to be wrong, and I don’t trust that witch at all.

grandma & jack

Boy, did she love her boys, but would it have killed me to have a girl?


About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

61 responses »

  1. Awh, great post. Your Grandmother sounded like quite the character! What wonderful memories…and reminders of her!

  2. This is a gorgeous post. I love the writing and the grandma. I sort of wish you were pregnant. Is that wrong?

    • my old ass was on the fence too. frighteningly, my hub was all in. he was freaking me out since 2 years ago, i was all in and he was all, no way! ahhh… timing. it is everything.

  3. Brilliant and beautiful. So wonderfully brilliant and beautiful.

  4. I just love grandmas, and yours sounds particularly awesome. And this beautiful post leaves me wondering. What if she wasn’t wrong about what she saw, but just misunderstood it? What else could it have meant?

    • they broke the mold with her. 🙂 and i know!! she really isn’t ever wrong.. but, my brother’s wife had a girl a few months after she passed, so i went with that her radar was just a little off… i don’t know… she keeps me on my toes.

  5. Love this. Such a special relationship you guys had!

  6. Great post. I kind of wish you were telling us you were having a girl too. At least she got the best part right, that you were pregnant. That’s really cool.

    • she was right about most things. i think that’s why she couldn’t handle being wrong… and why i’m exxxtrra careful. but yeah, i’m not one to kick a gift witch, uh, horse, in the mouth.. 😉

  7. i absolutely love every single damn thing about this post. 🙂 thank you for sharing it with us.

  8. What an awesome story. I love it when people have a “six sense”. Was she Polish background by chance? I know that to an extent, my Jewish Polish grandmothers are all “witchy” or they just always believe they’re right regardless. What a beautiful way to remember your grandmother. Sounds like she loved you very much and that she was loved right back as well.

  9. What a fantastic story. Sassy smartass Grandmas are the best ever. So glad you got to enjoy so much time with her.

  10. designaddict22

    Beautiful story! You are an amazing writer. I look forward to all your musings 😉

  11. great post! I absolutely LOVE it! What a great connection you have with your grandma! I’ll be voting for you on Yeah Write! 🙂

  12. My hubby’s grandmother died when I was just a few weeks pregnant with my first. She had written in a card, “For Scott and Courtenay in case it’s a girl.” We hadn’t told anyone I was pregnant… Grandmothers are perfect, aren’t they?

  13. This is a sweet post, I love it! It’s not impossible until Dot leaves forever 😉

  14. Heheh aww, that’s a great story about your grandmother.

  15. I didn’t have a gramma who saw me having a girl, but I used to dream of having a little red haired girl. No such luck, I had two dark haired boys. About four years ago I started dating a man with a dark haired son, and a red-haired girl.

  16. So well written. Thank you thank you! It must have been a week to think about grandparents 🙂

  17. I love every word of this post. Every word. Beautiful, well written and Invitational Grid-worthy (IMHO). Your grandma sounds like a gem and a hoot. She was lucky to have you and your boys in her life. And vice versa. Congrats on this – well done!

  18. Oy vey, what is it with grandmas signing their life away! My g’ma is in her early 90s, still lives at home and while definitely in her final years, she’s doing well. But, she is *constantly* trying to give us all of her earthly possessions and talking about how we have to choose now so we won’t argue with each other once she’s gone, etc… We keep telling her we want her to keep what she has so she can enjoy it, and we will share it when we have to. *Tangent over*.
    Very beautiful post; can’t wait to see what she does on her Yurzheit to let you know she’s paying attention 🙂

    • i know! my grandma did that as well. although, it gave her pleasure to give things away. she wanted to know that someone she loved would enjoy it. but, honestly, the whole thing is depressing. i am so happy when she messes with me. 🙂

  19. I just love this post! Grandmas must be the theme at Yeah Write this week, huh?

  20. What a sweet post and great picture. As someone who battle with infertility worries myself — can’t believe she called your pregnancies. Even if she was off on the gender, still pretty impressive.

  21. My “nonna” was a bit like yours…..
    She knew things nobody had told her and she guessed whatever trouble you might have!
    Your post is so tender!

  22. Awesome ending line! Better double up on the birth control.

  23. Wow! Your grandmother sounds like quite the force of nature. This was beautifully told. I’m with Azara. Double up on the birth control!

  24. Beautiful. I love this post. Funny and touching. Your grandma sounded full of life and very spunky. My grandma passed away two years ago at 103 and she was just like that. She was hoping I would have a little girl with red curly hair and dimples. When my I got pregnant with my third ( named after her) she wasn’t right about the sex or hair color but I still search for those dimples:) wonderful tribute you wrote!

  25. I love the haunting a from loved ones I’ve lost. Such wonderful memories you have about your grandmother!

  26. Oh, that is a wonderful story! I love Grandmas. They are the best!

  27. I so thoroughly enjoyed this post. You hooked me with the title, and kept me attentive the whole time. I would have been in suspense had you not told us the “no” news right away. Your grandma was so well characterized here. She could show up as a character is some of the fiction I read. I was actually thinking of a novel called Bloodroot when I read this. This was just so well done all around. Thank you for such an enjoyable post. The photo really enhanced it too.

  28. Sweet, touching and downright hilarious. Great writing, mama.

    We have a bit of the psychic (or maybe I should say “psycho”) in my family as well. It both frightens and fascinates me.

    Your grandma sounds like she was one cool chick.

  29. This is beautiful… The resemblance your mom has with your grandma is amazing!!! As soon as I saw the picture I immediately saw your mother!!! She was beautiful and her beauty continues to live on in all of you… ❤ XoXo

  30. This is such a beautiful post. As soon as I looked at the picture, I immediately saw your mom!!! Your grandma was a beautiful woman and her beauty continues to live on in all of you… ❤ XoXo

  31. Pingback: My Dead Grandma is Totally Messing With Me by Ice Scream Mama — Bonbon Break

  32. Your grandma just said you’ll have a girl, right? She never mention which relationship you will be in… Or am I wrong with that?

    After reading your post, I miss my own grandma and I want to hug her, but she passed away when I was 13 years old…

    • yup, that’s what she said. no parameters, just a girl, somewhere, somehow… maybe i’ll get a dog. haha.
      i miss my grandmas all the time. 😦

      • The bad think is the older I get the more I forget about her. There’s just that hole and I try not get to close to it.

        What doesn’t mean I don’t love her, because I do.

        She always asked me “How can you sleep ’till evening?” or “a place for everything and everything in its place” She’s right, but sometimes I can’t keep it in it’s place and my apartment ends in a Mess. (*≧▽≦)ノシ))

      • she’s always with you, but write it all down… then you’ll always remember those little bits of love.

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